Meg’s Super Awesome Cover Design Project: The Raven Cycle

2 September, 2015 Random 63 comments

Hi everyone, welcome to the second installment of my cover design project that I still haven’t thought of a more concise name for! If you missed the first one/are wondering why the hell I’m doing this you can check out this post but the short answer is because I can and it’s fun.

This time around I decided to do Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle Quartet. As pretty much anyone who has ever talked to me before can probably tell you, I’m a massive Maggie Stiefvater fan and this series is my all time favorite of hers. While I really love her actual covers, I decided I wanted to make my own because of aforementioned superfan status and the whole thing where it’s fun and I can.

The last time around I focused on typography, this time I wanted to do something a little more image-y. While all of the main characters are key to each book, I loved the idea of representing each book with one of the four core characters (sorry Noah, but I’m treating you like a wildcard for reasons). I also really loved the cameo thing that Blue Lily, Lily Blue and kind of reimagined the rest (or in the case of the yet unreleased Raven King cover, imagined) how that could’ve played out across all four covers. 



I gave The Raven Boys to Blue. You can make a pretty solid case for making Blue Lily Lily Blue Blue’s book but I went with Raven Boys because it’s the beginning and Blue’s tarot card is the Page of Cups which represents beginnings and potential. For all of these covers I wanted to do a combination of super vivid imagery and a combination of brush texture and swirly shapes to frame the imagery and give it a wild, magical vibe. I used one of my favorite handwriting fonts and a watercolor paper texture to give them a sort of personal, hand made, one might even say journal sort of feeling. For Blue/The Raven Boys I went with a gnarly, epic tree for Cabeswater/vision tree reasons and the night sky to represent Blue’s desire for something more. I liked the juxtaposition of ground and sky for Blue as a nod to her internal practical vs fanciful conflict and also because the similar but also opposite thing plays into the whole mirror theme of the series.



There’s no question that The Dream Thieves is Ronan’s book. Equally obviously Ronan’s cover had to have something to do with ravens (hence, the feathers) and something glorious, beautiful and destructive as hell like, oh, say, a fiery explosion. For Ronan’s embellishments I wanted something a little spikier and wilder than the vine-y things I went with for Blue and just barely peaking out around the edges.



I ultimately decided to make Blue Lily, Lily Blue Adam’s book because I feel like this is the book where Adam finally starts to get a grip on who he is and what he’s about. I went with cathedrals and ripples to represent something high level and metaphorical about having a lot going on beneath the surface and also literally represent a certain church scene. I added some naturey things creeping around the edges for [spoilers].



For The Raven King I went with Gansey because I figure if he’s going to die then the least I could do is put him on the cover. Keeping with the death theme, I went with misty graveyard/tombstone/skull imagery plus a raven because r(if you’ve read this series, duh). For the embellishments I went with some ornate, vaguely baroque-y flourish’s to convey a kind of royal vibe because Gansey is 100% Glendower in some way or the other and one day I will actually finish my essay laying this out with in-text citations. I clustered the brush texture around his head to represent a crown because I like to think I’m clever.



You may notice that some of the silhouettes are facing one way or the other. I’d love to tell you it’s for some genius high level reason like representing how Blue and Ronan tend to think more along the lines of each other and ditto Adam and Gansey but that was pointed out by Ellis. I was just making the ships look at each other when the covers are lined up like they are above because I know what I’m about.


What do you guys think? What are some other covers you’d like to see re-imagined? I can’t promise I’ll end up doing your suggestions because I’m functioning on more of a when the inspiration strikes kind of schedule with these, but I’ll definitely let them percolate around in my brain to see if I come up with something.


Pssssssst! If you like these designs, book wraps and prints are available in my shop: Meg Makes Things. (/shameless self promo)

Meg Morley

Meg Morley

Co-bloggery at Cuddlebuggery
Meg is an all-around book nerd who just really wants to talk about books, preferably with other people but by herself will do. Find her on Goodreads.

63 Responses to “Meg’s Super Awesome Cover Design Project: The Raven Cycle”

    • Meg Morley

      hold up wait a second why has it never occurred to me to look for trc pacific rim AUs bc I have a powerful need to read about Blue and Ronan in the drift

      (also, consider this vengeance for all the times you’ve made me cry over headcanons) (except I love it so maybe not) (also THANK YOU!!)

      • Sana // artsy musings of a bibliophile

        Sooo I might have Googled and at least one definitely exist only it’s about Adam, Ronan, Neeve and Whelk which weird. Buuut I’ll definitely read a Blue/Ronan one because need.

        Anyway, yes I absolutely accept this as a form of vengeance. Also, I noticed the dead Gansey flag waving and very approve.

        • Meg Morley

          um. what? neeve and whelk? they barely even go here.

          haaaaa i thought you’d like that. I had a much less death-y one in the works and pictured ellis glaring at me and was like okay, need to death this up, it’s not working anyway.

  1. Ellie

    Oh God, they are drop-dead gorgeous! I’ve tears in my eyes and can’t stop looking at them. I wish they were real because I’d totally buy these editions in a heartbeat.

  2. Vanessa

    These are absolutely beautiful! I’m not someone who buys books twice cause they found a prettier edition, but I would totally make an exception for these!
    I also agree with your reasoning about whom to put on the covers.

  3. Chenise J.

    These are absolutely stunning! The typography and images are perfect compliments of each other! I’m also reeeeally in love with the spines and how nicely they look all lined up. These need to be real asap!!


    Well damn! Those are freakin amazing. I would totally buy them even though I love the covers now. I think I might like these a bit better. Great job lady! Can’t wait for The Raven King!!!
    ❤️Britt @

  5. Judith


    (That’s pretty much it. You’re too fucking talented and these are too fucking gorgeous and I will never not be impressed.)

    (Lol coherent comments.)

  6. Rosie

    WOW! You are crazy talented. These are beautiful. Words can do these no justice.

    I would love to have a copy of these on my shelf. You’ve reminded me that I need to finish the series off too – The Raven Boys was the first book I read this year and I loved it.

    Serious booklust.
    Rosie recently posted…Share The Love – AugustMy Profile

  7. wildpear


    Ahaha I totally thought ‘Hey, the ships are looking at each other, well played Meg’ before reading that bit of your write-up 😉 I suppose . . . philosophical things could be relevant too . . . *shrugs noncomitally*

    But seriously these are so pretty and I love them all (especially Blue’s, for personal reasons) and if I’m ever in a position to choose my own cover designer I know who I want!

  8. Marie

    These covers are really, really good. I like them better than the original ones (Even though The Raven King has yet to have an official cover at the moment). They are just so pretty. You have some crazy talent. 🙂

  9. Mel@thedailyprophecy

    Oh my, these are fantastic and I loved your explanations behind your picks. The cover from Ronan is perfect. Blue Lily, Lily Blue is my favorite cover! Gorgeous colours and details.

  10. Maraia

    I still can’t get over how stunning these covers are. Why are you not being paid for this?! I don’t even know what else to say, except that they are perfect. You captured everything I love about this series.

  11. annie

    i’ve definitely come to look forward to these posts just to see all the amazing things you manage to create. this post has absolutely blown me away. i’ve never been a huge fan of the raven cycle covers though i couldn’t imagine them with anything else but oh my god, THESE COVERS. i would buy ten thousand copies of each book just to see them lined up on my bookshelf. so so pretty, it makes me sad that these aren’t real. can they be real please??

  12. Ginny

    Wow, I would love to buy those! Also, I’d like to see your take on The Diviners series and Throne of Glass series.

  13. Aentee

    Wow these are so stunning! If they were real covers I could repurchase the entire series in hardbacks. I love reading your description as well, they suit the books so well. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Liza @ Reading with ABC

    Another Stiefvater fan!!! I would love to see what you can do with The Scorpio Races 🙂 Anyway, I love these, they fit the characters so well. I keep hoping for a good ending to the series *fingers crossed*

  15. Carina Olsen

    YOU ARE AMAZING. And I want these. Oh my gosh. You are so talented Meg 😀 SO GORGEOUS. <3 I adore these books too. Sigh. But don't you dare! Gansey is NOT DYING! I refuse it 😀 The Raven King will end happily for Gansey and Blue. And that's that. <3 Anyway. These are awesome. And I want them so badly. Thank you for making and sharing sweet girl 🙂 You are awesome.

  16. Julie

    These are beautiful! I love all the reasoning behind your choices as well. Even though the current covers are pretty, I really love your redesigns!!

  17. Jaz

    What do I think? What do I THINK? Holy sweet baby Jesus Meg these are stunning, amazing, beautiful, jaw-dropping, my socks are knocked off my feet incredible!

    You are sooooo talented and omg if these were released as a new edition I would be the first to be buying them! So gorgeous I cannot even.

    I hope you have the time to keep this feature up as I’d love to see how you interpret and re-create other series covers (suggestion, The Grisha Trilogy :D).

  18. Emma @ A Bookshelf Kitten

    I thought these covers couldn’t get more beautiful. I was wrong. These are some of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen! *flails* They are so, so pretty. I think my favorite one is The Raven King. Also, question, what’s a cover wrap? Is it like a dust jacket?
    Emma @ A Bookshelf Kitten recently posted…Friday Reads [#07]My Profile

  19. Monique Sutton

    These covers are more beautiful than the originals and that is saying something!! I love these covers and your descriptions were amazing and so well put together, this whole post was just incredible! 😀

  20. Sharon Carson

    Oh my gosh! Love the covers so much, are you actually doing commissions for book covers?

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